Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am planning on buying a cruiser type bike next year. It will mainly be for in the city, two lane highways, and shorts stints on the interstate (10-20 miles). I originally thought I would be taking it to the coast and Seattle alot but now that I have my Versys I do believe I would take it on any long trips I made..

My deal now is I am torn between the 900 Custom and the Mean Streak 1600. I like the looks of both bikes but i think I prefer the 900 Custom. I love the candy lime green color and I prefer the look of the larger height front wheel. I do like the looks of the Meanie too and love the dual instrument cluster (I do not like the lack of a fuel guage though...just a low fuel light on the Meanie). I also think the wider shorter front tire on the meanie would make it handle the highways a bit better.

My biggest fear is the 900C would be underpowered and feel unstable at higher speeds.

I would love to hear comparisons from people that have experience with both bikes. I would also welcome both good and bad experiences from people on one or the other bikes. :smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
only thing better about the 900 is the price , but if you like the looks better maybe thats just a benefit for you.
 

·
Deeppurple52
Joined
·
2,072 Posts
Although they look similar, these two bikes are as different as night and day so you can't really compare. I find the Meanie and M109 to be two of the quirkies bikes I have ridden at slow speed. I would not own either for that reason, but the Meanie is certainly **** good looking and one of the most popular bikes Kawasaki sells. Must be a good reason.. Samie-same for the 900.... huge sales hit. It rides like the smaller displacement bike it is while the Meanie has a lot more thump. Either will fit the bill. It all depends what you want. How was that for a non-answer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,025 Posts
I've never ridden a 900 but with all of the postings on this forum about them it seems like they are a very well liked bike. And I haven't heard many complaints about them being underpowered, but I guess that depends on how you use it. Some folks on here travel long distances with them as well including 2 up.

The Meanie or Marauder in my case (same basic bike) lots of differences. Slow speed maneuvers, no problem. They just plain handle great. Heavier yes, which may make it a bit smoother at the higher speeds. Although mine I would not call very smooth. You will get amazing stopping power with the Meanie, but I don't know how much better over the 900 it might be. The bigger bike also offers some nice stock features that I really like. But like the above post says...if you like the look of one over the other, then let that be a good enough reason to buy it. Also, it seems not many Meanie owners like to customize their rides into touring style cruisers because that look does not flow well with the bikes stock look. Each to their own. Good luck.
 

·
900 Customer
Joined
·
901 Posts
The 900 is not underpowered, but understand it's not in the same league as the MS either (not saying it won't keep up though). The 900 is lighter, has a much greater range (I can go 200 miles between fill ups on mine) and is, well, a lot cheaper. It sounds like it would be a good fit for the type of riding you're planning on doing. It does fine in the interstate as well. The revs are high, but the engine likes it up there so it's not a problem. Not sure what you mean by high speeds, but I've done 90 on mine and it felt fine. Keep in mind my 900 is my first bike so I don't have much to compare it to, but I think you'd be happy with it.
 

·
Swank
Joined
·
1,135 Posts
IMO, if you're not going for super long rides and you don't plan on needing to carry anything more than what can fit in a backpack or taking a passenger, I'd go for the Meanie. I can't bring myself to put bags or a rack or a seat that's good for a passenger for longer than a ride around the block on it.

However, I did take my Meanie on a ride from the far NW burbs of Chicago to Pittsburgh through about 200+ miles of rain and it (and my butt) did fairly well. I had a backpack on and a toiletry bag webbed on the back of the seat. I loved having the extra grunt on the interstates that my 800 just didn't have when I rode that to Sturgis loaded down with clothes, a tent, sleeping bag and a folding chair and other [email protected] I've since decided that I may have to start looking at another bike next year *gasp*.

It's ultimately up to you. The 900 custom is a sweet looking bike, I'll say that. I don't think you could go wrong with either.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
660 Posts
900 is very stable at speed so is the meanie. meanie is faster but not much(i ride both) meanie handles better, but has a lot stiffer ride. meani is a litle top heavy compared to the 900 not quite as balanced. 900 gets better mpg and has a bigger tank. guess the deal breake would be price. youve already got a nice bike that can outperform a meanie so why not just get the 900?
My .02 any ways.. good luck youd love both..
By the way seen yor versys on a nother thread. NICE bike. I sit on it everytime i go to the dealer! that may be MY second bike, just love it. and the trunk dont look bad at all dude, very very useful. you only get to look at yor bike when its parked ya know..when yore ridin you need all the space you can get. again my .02 cents
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
900 is very stable at speed so is the meanie. meanie is faster but not much(i ride both) meanie handles better, but has a lot stiffer ride. meani is a litle top heavy compared to the 900 not quite as balanced. 900 gets better mpg and has a bigger tank. guess the deal breake would be price. youve already got a nice bike that can outperform a meanie so why not just get the 900?
My .02 any ways.. good luck youd love both..
By the way seen yor versys on a nother thread. NICE bike. I sit on it everytime i go to the dealer! that may be MY second bike, just love it. and the trunk dont look bad at all dude, very very useful. you only get to look at yor bike when its parked ya know..when yore ridin you need all the space you can get. again my .02 cents
I like how yo think. The Versys is my bike of choice for performance. this would just be for tooling around on.

As for the trunk...I can't even see it in the rear view mirrors so i am getting used to it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
I was almost about to buy a 900 custom myself but after riding the Meanstreak I went for that. The only reason I did not go for the 900 was I could not find one to demo and I myself will never spend a big stack of cash on something which I have not tested. Having said that the bikes are both great lookin bikes but in different classes. The meanstreak seems like it is just ticking over at about 3000 revs at about 80MPH whick the 900 will happly do that all day long it will be reving higher. Do not let that put you off. One very big advantage the 900 over the meanstreak is distance on a tank full of gas. I do not know exactly what a 900 will do (others will fill this detail on) but i would say it is around 170-180 miles where as you are looking for gas at about 100-110 mile on a meanstreak. All I would say is go with what you like the look of and feel comfortable sitting on. Buy either bike and you will be smiling that is for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,156 Posts
You have a Versys which will do the arm stretching. The 900 is an easy riding, cheap riding, fun bike that handles great, not a bit top heavy.

The Versys is really just a Sporty Meany anyways. Do you want duplicate bikes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Speaking for the 900 classic, I've got no complaints about it being under-powered. It's got quite a bit of jam for an under 1K cruiser. I'm a 230 lb lad, and two-up on occasion without any problems climbing up the on-ramp to the highway. It's not a bike you can expect to tangle with the big boys, but I figure on 0-60 in the low 6 second range, which is lots to get you around the cagers, even two up.

Don't let the "900" fool you, it's by no means a rocket, but it's far from a slug...

I put Cobra longs on my 900 a few weeks ago and there is a noticeable power increase and a boost in torque. Now I find I can pull away from my riding buddy who has a Concours (not the 14!!!) when under 40 mph, though above that his engine has the advantage. I figure I'll improve even more when I air mod and put the FI trimmer on.

Still, the meanie is a great bike too...I have not ridden it myself, but rode with a dude that has one and it can go. It's got some unique styling too, if that's what you're looking for.

IMO I don't think you will go wrong with either, they'll both give you lots of grins!
 

·
4000 miles & counting...
Joined
·
164 Posts
i was planning on buying a 900 custom for a many months - i rode one, and thought, wow this is an amazing bike. then, one day at the dealer, i sat on a mean streak. it just fit me better - the dimensions, the overall size and feel. i changed my mind - it took only one ride on the mean streak.
 

·
frequently disturbs class
Joined
·
2,220 Posts
Penguin, where do you live?
If you're going to be riding in downtown Seattle and the Metro area like really commuter-style riding, the 900c would be great. It's light, it handles really well even at low speed, the low-end torque would be a huge bonus in hilly downtown, and liquid cooling is nice when I5 is jammed up like a parking lot.

But if you're even thinking of running out to the coast, up to Anacortes or BC or out to the eastside over the passes, BUY THE MEANIE! It's power and handling will not leave you wanting when the open road calls your name, as you know it surely will. The ONLY knock on the meany IMHO is that it has mid controls. For really tall guys the 900c is roomier. (But that can be remedied with additional dollars.)

There are great deals to be made this winter. There is a really nice Red 05 meanie in Bellevue posted on cycletrader right now...

If you decide you must have a 900c, I'll be selling a black one soon, but try to think when the last time you saw a post from a meany owner lamenting the fact that they didn't buy a 900...
 

·
Off to see the Wizard!
Joined
·
162 Posts
The Meanie is a nice bike. Great handling and great looks. If u choose one u won't regret it.
 

·
Got Pujols?!?! GO CARDS!
Joined
·
127 Posts
My dad owns the Mean Streak and I have the 900 Custom. I have ridden both and really enjoy the ridding position of the 900. I was more hunched over on the MS. I have long legs and the MS seemed to be a bit shorter from butt to heel. I also like the handlebars on the 900 better. I believe they are wider and they added to the comfort of ride for me.

I love the look of the front wheel on the 900 and also the skinny tire, but I do not do many long trips. When I rode the MS, the ride was smoother over rodes with grading or any kind of groves. The 900 front end can get a little squirly compared to the fatter MS front end.

Power-wise, the 900 is plenty! But what is wrong with more!! I have never needed more even 2-up. Yes, once you hit 75+, the bike gets busy...I am thinking about changing the pulley to fix that. But then again, that may get me in trouble :biggrin:

I hope this helps, but after riding both, I would get the 900 again. No offense dad! 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
"Underpowered" is a relative term. My 900 LT feels like a luxury ride to me. But then my other bikes are a 250 Rebel, 250 Ninja, and a VLX 600.
I sure like the looks of the Mean Streak, but the 900 is as big as I plan to go.
I am sure that no matter what bike you choose, you will be happy.
Be sure to let us know what you get!!!
 

·
Perpetual Motion
Joined
·
6,663 Posts
From an impartial rider:

I ride a V2K, so I have no emotional attachment to either bike. I've ridden both.

Even though both are smaller then mine, I did not feel that the Meanie is underpowered in any way. However, I've ridden two and I will say that an intake/pipes upgrade makes a BIG difference on this model. Also, I found that different risers make for a significant improvement in comfort and handling, since I find the bars too low (at least for me).

Now, no offense to 900 owners, but the 900 did feel underpowered to me. Acceleration response was very slow on the highway. However, from a size perspective, it seemed every bit as stable as a Meanstreak, and it was comfortable.

I guess it comes down to what you'll be using it for. If it's a lot of highway riding, I'd definately go with the Meanstreak. If it's around town -- the 900.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top